STUTTGART, Ark. (KTHV) - Everyone in Stuttgart wants to know who the new multi-millionaire in town could be. Someone won the $177 million jackpot Friday and the chatter is non-stop.
It's a small town and many think they know who the winner is, but none of us will know for sure until the new multi-millionaire brings that ticket forward.
"Who won the $177 million is everybody's question? We don't know still," said All Stop Valero manager, Joy White.
The mystery winner bought the Mega Millions ticket on Thursday at the gas station in Stuttgart.
"My friend from Hot Springs called me yesterday said, ‘You got the winning ticket?’ I said ‘No, I wish I did, wouldn’t have to work no more,'” said Valero customer John Rutherford.
It's been the talk of the town and rumors are spreading.
"Everybody’s curious who it is, but someone told me at work who it was," said Rutherford.
They’re also surprised and excited the winning ticket came out of Stuttgart.
“We're a small town and we're in Arkansas, didn't think it would happen here. Nobody did," said White.
This is the biggest jackpot to ever come out of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.
"It’s huge," said Bishop Woosley, Arkansas Lottery Director. "It’s the biggest jackpot we've ever had in Arkansas by $150 million. The previous one was $25 million."
Now being called the lucky store, everyone's hoping they could be next to win from Valero.
“Everybody coming through the door, I’d say 90 percent of them, want a ticket," said White.
Woosley said when more tickets are bought, that means more scholarships and "hopefully more winners."
"I hope it’s good in luck because I’m going to get me a ticket when I get done,” said Rutherford. “There’s nothing to do here for the kids. I’d put a go-car track in over by Walmart.”
For selling the winning ticket, the gas station gets a $50,000 bonus. The winner has 180 days to claim their prize money. If the winner chooses the cash option, they’ll walk away with about $72 million after taxes. They’ll also have the option to take the money over a 30-year span.
Lottery officials say the state can expect to reap somewhere around $7 million in income taxes from the winner.
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